True beauty of American Beauty

11/22/12

American beauty is one of the nice movies I have ever seen. That’s not surprising because it’s an award winning movie. Anyway, its simplicity and context which aligns with the most wanton characteristics of fast moving life and its tragic consequences towards a family make me think more and more about ourselves. Though I use the ward “tragic”, this movie is not all about a tragic end, but it also opens an avenue for the simplest beauties of life which has nothing to do with lengthy philosophical means.

Beauty is just life...how you take it... as Lester (main character: middle aged magazine writer who faces a crisis) says at the end... “Today is the first day of rest of your life!”
I have watched this movie three times in three different stages of my life and grasped it in terms of different aspects. First I watched this soon after the first release when I was just out from the university. Honestly, what I enjoyed was the glamorous sexual fantasies Lester had on Angela who is a friend of his daughter. I should admit those scenes were beautifully done. And that’s it.



So this is all about glamorous dreams...

Then American Beauty was shown in Liberty Cinema for a little period when I was in late twenties. One of my friends (a photographer) wanted to go and see it and I was invited to join him. So I said I already watched and, as far as I can remember, it got some glamorous scenes, a half naked beautiful girl and so on... but there is nothing much to watch again.  Anyway, I watched it again with him and it started to open different window this time. Hmm.....  it’s not only Angela’s sexy body, but how the ambiance and reality of people contrasts each other. What are the different aspects of different people in same family, same neighbourhood? Is it worth to be in this frame defined with perspective of the community? It’s simple, yet a conversation where we are involved in.

See how Ricky captures the beauty of everything... why we missed this beauty in our life... does it need rocket science to see the beauty of something around you... this of course opened a new avenue in me..


Since we too were youthful and in our inventions of love, this scene too disturbed me so much. Lester decides to live the life at the moment. Now he is working in a burger store, no stress... no binding even. He simply wants his wife to be happy. If he really wish so, isn’t this the way he needs to behave. His coolness makes Carolyn (wife) mad.


So second time it all about how we look at things!

When I watch American Beauty for the third time, I had my little daughter on my lap. It gave me a big gravity. It made me further concerned about the life we are running. Are we going to forward this depressed life style to my little girl too on day? Nothing tells us Lester doesn’t love her daughter. We all are average and confused people in this horse race. So are the kids.


This time I understood the root cause of the issue of crisis of Lester’s family. It’s the stress. Stress made by jobs under current economic surroundings. Stress made by social structure. Stress made by routine work and so on...  While I understood that I am also in this arena, I got scared.

So third time, it is all about stress..

In fact, I need to see this movie again when my daughter is 16 old, in same age with Jane. Jane decides to flee with Ricky to a big City. City is not a safe place. It doesn’t save you from confusion. I am scared.

Of course, Angela’s half naked body is sexy and beautiful...  but that’s not the true beauty of American Beauty... It’s the beauty that we miss in our day to day life... most simple once... just like a plastic bag blows freely in the wind.

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